A terrified young woman sits restlessly on her chair as she faces her doctor. She has the look of a frightened bird about to take flight. Her body was tensed, her head keeps turning around as she glances nervously around the room.
Her doctor asked what she was so afraid of, and the woman shrugged and told him “I really don’t know.” She was obsessed with the thoughts of dying among other things. “I seem to have this “spells” ‘, she said. I was washing the dishes one day, and out of the blue, I feel so frightened, I can’t move, I was shaking and then I can’t catch my breath and next thing I knew I wanted to faint.”
She pauses for a moment “You think I’m crazy don’t you?”. The doctor shook his head “No…but I do think your are sick…you show signs of stress and anxiety and…you are suffering an anxiety over death.”
It has been said that anxiety is being afraid of an unknown danger whereas fear is being afraid of a definite and specific harm. For the nervous woman inside the doctor’s office, thinking her death is near and was real enough causes her so much fear. Her therapy with the doctor in weekly intervals have helped her understood a lot of things. The root of her anxiety? She was having a hard time accepting her aging process. She becomes aware of her own mortality.
LEARNING TO LIVE WITH ANXIETY
Sometimes we are anxious over things that don’t exist. We imprison ourselves unconsciously when we ought to be free and try to enjoy life a lot more. Of course, there are real dangers of which we are afraid. These are genuine threats to our security and stability like emotional and physical problems. To feel anxious and in need of professional help doesn’t mean that we are “crazy”. In today’s hectic world, all of us have good reasons to react to events. Events like global warming, terrorist attacks, tsunami and add to that, situations that we have to deal with our own personal lives.
From time to time, it is alright to have legitimate feelings of depression and anxiety. And if things can really go out of hand, a psychiatrist, psychologist, and counselors well-trained enough can provide the kind of help you need. But even with professional help, you must also do your part, you need to get busy and make use of what ever talents you have and not dwell on you “melancholic” moods.
With the proper perspective you can get out of your obstacles and find the way out being trap in the cycle of anxiety. Most often, people are anxious because they are mostly stuck in the past than living in the present. It is not just plain nostalgia but it seems their “present” situation is not the way they wanted to be. Dissatisfaction and the tendency of past failures and guilt dominates us and changes our personalities. In addition, to much preoccupation of the future robs us also of our joy. We worry too much on what lies ahead.
ACCEPT AND LET GO
We deny and we don’t learn to accept our imperfections. We hated ourselves…how we looked and how others perceived us. A lot of people doesn’t even like the sound of their voice while others can be downright embarrassed if they are fat and too skinny. We let this illusion of beauty, wealth and success on which we get from magazines, TV and even the Internet be the source of our misery as we constantly compare ourselves to others. It is only through acceptance and letting go if things which is external is one way of lessening our anxiety panic attacks.
Another clue to overcoming our anxieties is to know that we are not alone in our fears and worries. Anxiety is often an introspective activity and it thrives on isolation. But we don’t have to be alone. We are not strange and inferior. The moment you learn to accept who and what you are is also the time that you will discover that you are not set apart from everybody else.
Anxiety is a normal thing and that everyone goes through with life with it. However, it also doesn’t mean our anxieties will go away and never come back.
But the bottom line is, we need to control it and not let it dominate our own lives. There would be trouble, there would be pain, there would be sorrow but we can survive. Learn to let go and try to be free.